It was on January 22, 1973 that a 7- 2 vote by the justices established the right to abortion, overturning a Texas interpretation of the law in Roe V. Wade. Still 40 years later abortion ranks as one of the most polarizing issues across America and right here in Texas, where funding has been cut and laws have been passed, aimed at making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortions.
In addition to cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, as of October 1st, 2011, Texas state law requires all women seeking an abortion to have at least 2 visits to the abortion facility. Once she sees the doctor, she must wait 24 hours before she's allowed to have an abortion. She has to have an ultra sound and the doctor must ask her if she wants to see the image or hear the heart beat. If she declines, he must describe it to her.
On the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade... Governor Perry released this statement. "In Texas, we've worked hard to strengthen our abortion laws to the greatest extent possible under Roe V. Wade... We will continue working to empower families and protect our children's future, until the day abortion is nothing more than a tragic footnote in our nation's history."
Amy Hagstrom Miller started Whole Women's health 10 years ago and her business has grown. Now she has five clinics in Texas; one in Beaumont. The clinic offers gynecology care, that includes providing abortions to about 9,000 women a year. Hagstrom Miller says, "My main goal is to provide an oasis for her, where she feels safe, where she feels comfortable, where she can feel at peace."
According to the Texas Department of Health Service, in Texas 72,470 women In received abortions in 2011. In the U.S., nearly one in three women will have an abortion before the age of 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Elizabeth Graham, director of the anti-abortion group, Texas Right to Life, says they will continue to fight. "We do have a lot more work to do because we continue to miss this many women in Texas//we redouble our efforts."
And on this 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade efforts on both sides of the issue continue. 19 states last year enacted laws limiting access to abortion.
The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds a majority of people support legalized abortion. According to the poll, a whopping 70% say Roe V. Wade should not be overturned. And for the first time, the survey finds that a record 54% of Americans say that abortion should be legal, either always or most of the time.
US Representative Steve Stockman (36th Congressional District) Tuesday, released a statement on the Roe V. Wade decision saying, "Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide. They dealt human rights in the U.S. its biggest judicial setback since the court's 1857 Dred Scott ruling the dehumanization and brutal treatment of defenseless people. Since that day, over 55 million children have died in abortion clinics more deaths than in all U.S. wars combined. Stockman said he would support a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe V. Wade.